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Holly King (center) is congratulated after she headed in the game-winning goal off a Jo Dragotta free kick.

Sunday September 9, 2012No. 24 Gator Soccer Defeats New Mexico 3-2

Gainesville, Fla.

Holly King (center) is congratulated after she headed in the game-winning goal off a Jo Dragotta free kick.

The No. 24 University of Florida soccer team (3-2-1, 0-0 SEC) roared out of a lightning delay to score the tying and go-ahead goals to defeat New Mexico (3-4-1, 0-0 MWC) 3-2 Sunday afternoon at the James G. Pressly Stadium.

 

The Lobos’ Rachel Montoya took advantage of a Gator backline miscue to score the only goal of the opening half. She pounced on the ball played between two UF defenders to score an unassisted goal from 14 yards in the 21st minute.

 

A pair of sophomores worked together to score the Gators’ first goal early in the second half. The play began when senior All-American Erika Tymrak won the ball with a spinning move between a pair of Lobos at the center of the field. Sophomore Havana Solaun ran onto the ball played by Tymrak and she brought it down to just above the 18-yard box. The ball Solaun played left found sophomore Annie Speese making a run in the box. Speese took a couple of touches before sending a right-footed shot which scored in the middle upper coordinate of the goal. It was Speese’s first goal of the season.

 

The Lobos regained the lead in the 57th minute when Natalie Jenks, located deep in the Florida box, sent a ball that cut up through the box diagonally. Stephanie Rowe ran onto the ball and scored her first goal of the season from 18 yards.

 

Shortly after the Lobos second goal, lightning in the area forced the teams from the field. Play resumed after a 50-minute delay.

 

Florida quickly knotted the score at 2-all off a goal that was predicted by sophomore Maggie Rodgers during the break from play.

 

“We were in the locker room and I just had this feeling that Erika was going to score. Then I went up to her, told her it maybe eight times until she said, ‘okay I get it Maggie, I know I’m going to score,’” Rodgers said of her Gator medium moment. “We just kind of body-slammed each other (after the goal). I told her she was going to score and she said it was because of me.”

 

The goal was scored just over two minutes after play resumed. Tymrak remarked that the Lobos presented Florida with a riddle which they needed to solve.

 

“They sat behind the ball so we kind of had to treat it like a puzzle and break it down. When they put a lot of numbers behind, something that will break that down is give and go’s,” Tymrak said. “I saw (Annie) Bobbitt in a gap and I gave it to her. I made a run, she played it right back on my foot and I looked up and saw the far post open so I hit it.”

 

The goal was Tymrak’s second of the season and the 25th of her career.

 

The Gators took a 3-2 lead in the 66th minute off a header from senior Holly King. The Gators were awarded a free kick a few paces above the upper left corner of the box. The ball fellow senior Jo Dragotta sent into the box was flicked off the head of King for her first goal of the season.

 

There was a near-call by the official on the play, but King’s goal stood.

 

“Jo and I can read each other really well so I knew exactly where she was going to play it. She played a perfect ball to me and I just headed it in with a girl dragging my jersey backwards,” King said. “The ref saw the girl pulling my jersey back as I was heading it so he was going to call the penalty, but it went in so he just called the goal.”

 

Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh liked that the Gators found a way to win Sunday.

 

“It’s a big win for us because it’s a bit of a contrast in styles. For us to find a way to solve that and particularly in the predicament we were in says a lot about the character of this team,” Burleigh said. “We were in a hard situation.”

 

Burleigh said the Gators were calm during the lightning break.

“During the rain delay the team was pretty calm, there wasn’t any panic,” Burleigh said. “It is important for us to understand that combinations are key to making goals. The tying goal was actually a combination right in front of the box.”

 

Florida was without senior All-American Kathryn Williamson Sunday. She suffered a tear to her right meniscus in the Sept. 2 match versus FIU. No date has been set for her return.

 

Florida opens Southeastern Conference play next weekend with a pair of road matches. League play opens for the Gators at Kentucky next Friday at the UK Soccer Complex. Kentucky comes into Friday’s match after dropping its first match of the season, falling 3-1 Sunday to Samford in the final day of play at the Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky. Match time for the UF-UK match is set for 7 p.m.

 

Live streaming video of Friday’s match is available via UK Tube. The match can also be heard on www.GatorZone.com with Adam Schick calling the action.

 

Scoring Summary:

1st

2nd

Final

 

 

 

New Mexico

1

1

2

 

 

 

Florida

0

3

3

 

 

 

 

Scoring:

UNM: Rachel Montoya (unassisted) 20:39

UF: Annie Speese (Havana Solaun) 49:05

UNM: Stephanie Rowe (Natalie Jenks) 56:39

UF: Erika Tymrak (Annie Bobbitt) 59:30

UF: Holly King (Jo Dragotta) 66:03

 

Goalkeepers:

 

Minutes

Saves

GA

New Mexico

Kelli Cornell

90:00

0

3

Florida

Taylor Burke

90:00

0

2

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical Summary:

UNM

UF

 

Shots

4

11

 

Shots on goal

2

3

 

Saves

0

0

 

Fouls

15

3

 

Corner Kicks

5

3

 

Offside

0

1

 

 

Cautions: Jordan Craig, UNM – 62:19 (yellow)

 

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